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  • Writer's pictureGood-People

Empower teenagers with household responsibilities

Gain insights from a teacher, mother, and wife that highlights essential tasks teenagers should independently manage.

Do their laundry:

Teens should know how to sort, wash, dry, and put away laundry. Putting them in charge of their laundry teaches them responsibility and time management.

Type up the instructions for your machine and hang them close by or tap them to the top of the washer. After a few weeks, they won’t need the reminder anymore.

Wake up to an alarm clock:

A teenager should be able to get themselves out of bed and ready for the day on their own. When they go off to college they won’t have you there to do the job.

Make their phone calls:

“I asked my son to call Domino’s and order pizza the other night. He was nervous the whole time and was just sure I was playing a trick on him! “

Instruct them to handle the calls with good manners.

– When the phone is answered they should identify themselves and the reason for their call. 

– Have their conversation then politely say goodbye.

Pretty easy stuff! Phone skills do seem to be on the decline with everyone having a cell phone these days.

Fill out their paperwork:

Even though kids learn their address in Kindergarten it seems like they lose that information if they don’t use it often. In our day of computers and texting with autofill you can go a long time without writing your address down. 

The more they fill out forms for themselves the less stressful it will be. When it comes time to fill out job and college applications they will be a step ahead. 

Sort through their clothes and toys:

Teens are old enough to go through their clothes and decide what no longer fits, what is worn out, and what they just don’t wear because they don’t like it. If they can’t fit their clean clothes into their drawers they probably have too many clothes. 

Same with toys. As they approach that 12-13 age it seems like kids grow up fast. They don’t play with toys as much but are not sure about parting with them yet. They should begin to go through their stuff and decide what they want to keep and what they want to give away. 

An extra offer can be to put it in the attic if it is something they are not quite ready to part with but don’t play with anymore. You can always readdress those toys/decorations later.  

Be responsible for their room: 

Teens should be taking care of their own space. They should be dusting and vacuuming regularly their bedrooms. Along with their other laundry, they should be washing their sheets as well. 

Prepare their lunch and simple dinner: 

By the time a child graduates and leaves for college, they should know how to fix a few meals. What better time to start than when they are old enough to reach the stove safely! 

Besides teaching them to cook you can also take the opportunity to teach them how to meal plan. Take them to the grocery store when you shop for their meal. Help them understand the cost of groceries. 

Hand over Sunday evening to the kids. Once in a while, I let them order pizza but mostly I ask them to think of a meal.  Letting them be responsible for getting dinner ready. As they grow confident, their meals can get a little fancier and healthier)

Some suggestions for teens to know how to cook. Have them practice on you!

Mc and Cheese: 1 ½ cups macaroni + 150 grams of shredded Gruyere + ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese + 2 tablespoons heavy cream and salt to taste

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Return drained pasta to the pot. Mix with the Gruyere and Cheddar cheese and cream. Stir until the cheeses melt. Sprinkle with salt.

Baked or fried salmon filets: Add olive oil and some yummy spices and bake or fry for 7-10 minutes. Super easy and quick. 

Stuffed Potatoes: A versatile meal that requires a little bit of chopping. Bake some potatoes and top with whatever you like best. You can go taco-inspired, chilli and Swiss cheese, veggies… 

Salad with Chicken: Cut chicken breasts into pieces and add them to your favourite salad for a little bit of protein. Easy peasy.

Tuna bagels, and cheese-grilled paninis...

Are your teens helping with household chores? What tasks do they excel at? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Article adapted from the author

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